The on-again, off-again, maybe-on-again of tariffs that got on retailers’ last nerve in 2019 serve as a neat metaphor for the industry as a whole — in retail, things are complicated, swiftly changing and sometimes contradictory.
The U.S. consumer, for example, seems confident, yet remains picky. Stores need e-commerce, yet e-commerce needs stores. It’s complicating the business from merchandising to fulfillment, shaking up the c-suite, and landing ill-prepared or debt-heavy retailers in the financial dust.
That 2020 is an election year will only make an already complex environment more bewildering. Here is a look ahead to 10 of the trends Retail Dive is watching most closely.